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November 2023 Newsletter


Pastor's Note

As we come to the end of the year, I find it hard to know what to say as our time together comes to an end. We are going to go our separate ways in 2024 in a way that is unusual. We are also in November and the season of Thanksgiving so I thought I would simply share a prayer with you for this season.

The prayer is found in the United Methodist Book of Worship and it says:

Most Gracious God, you crown the year with your goodness. We praise you that you have ever fulfilled your promise that, while earth remains, seedtime and harvest shall not cease. We bless you for the order and constancy of nature, for the beauty of the earth and sky and sea, and for the providence that year by year supplies our need. We thank you for your blessing on the work of those who plowed the soil and sowed the seed, and have now gathered in the fruits of the earth. And with our thanksgiving for these blessings, accept our praise, O God, for the eternal riches of your grace in Christ our Lord; to whom, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all glory and honor and worship, for ever and ever. Amen.

I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and a blessed future.

In God’s grace,
Pastor Alan

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Meetings, Events

Prayer Group Meeting

Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., we meet to pray over concerns of our members and friends. You may call the office or pastor, or email us with prayer concerns at

Wesley Class Meeting

Class meets on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Food Ministry

The next Lord's Supper Ministry meal will be delivered on Tuesday, November 21. Please contact Ricky Baker if you would like to help with the cooking, etc. Delivery people need to arrive by 4:30 p.m.

Senior Citizens Gathering

Our Senior Citizens next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, November 28 at 11:00 a.m. A free meal will be served. Bring a dessert to share if you can.

Church Council Meeting

The Council will meet on Sunday, November 26 at 4:00 p.m. Members of the congregation may also attend and participate, but cannot vote.

Ebenezer Methodist Women

Ebenezer's Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, November 26 at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.


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Something to Pray About

Ebenezer Church is in a process of transition from the United Methodist to the Global Methodist Church connectional organization. Changes are coming fast now. The final vote for disaffiliation will be at the ZOOM (online) special called Western North Carolina Conference on November 4th, but much of the legal work has been accomplished already. Below are some of the changes that have taken place or will be done soon.

  • A special vote was held on August 27th, 2023, at a called Church Conference on whether or not to disaffiliate from the UMC/WNCC. Of the 59 full members of Ebenezer present, 54 voted “yes” to disaffiliate, 5 voted “no” against disaffiliation, no one abstained. Motion to disaffiliate passed.
  • On the same day as above, we had another Church Conference with a motion to apply for membership in the Global Methodist Church. Motion passed unanimously.
  • On September 11th, 2023, we received a letter of Welcome from the Global Methodist Church letting us know that our application for membership had been accepted. Our membership in the GMC became effective on August 30, 2023.
  • On October 23, 2023, we had a Charge Conference presided over by District Superintendent Rev. Lory Beth Huffman in which we voted on 2 motions: (1) to convey all real and personal property of Ebenezer UMC, Inc. to Ebenezer Methodist Church Dudley Shoals, Inc. our new church entity, contingent on the WNCC Annual Conference approving our disaffiliation on November 4, 2023; (2) to fil legal articles of dissolution with the North Carolina Secretary of State for Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Inc. Both motions passed with 12 votes “yes” and no abstaining or “no” votes. (Only Council members voted on these motions.)
  • We have incorporated under our new name of Ebenezer Methodist Church Dudley Shoals, Inc., and will begin using this name on business documents immediately, but DO NOT use on checks to our church until we notify you that you can. We will use the name Ebenezer Methodist Church for most non-legal and non-business purposes.
  • We have purchased a new website and are transitioning to it now. It is We have a new email address:, which we encourage our members to begin using now. The old website and email will be discontinued by the end of this year.
  • Our United Methodist Women’s group is now known as Ebenezer Methodist Women, or EMW.
  • Our United Methodist Men’s group will be known as Ebenezer Men’s Group, or EMG.
  • We are working on changing all our signage (not built into our structures) by removing the “cross and flame” and the word United. Our steeple will have to be modified or replaced. We hope to be able to remove the flame and keep the steeple cross.

There is much more work to be done to complete the process of leaving the WNC Conference of the UMC. More changes will be coming, but we hope and pray that our regular church life and services and ministries will continue as always. As God never changes, our ministry to our church body, our community, and to the world remains the same: to be a “stone of help” in our local community and to stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ in all that we do and teach. We ask for and continue to thank you for all your prayers and support as we move down this path of faithfulness to our Lord and Savior.

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November Celebrations


  • 1st--Vicky Baker
  • 1st--Gerry Daniel
  • 1st--Jacob Vosdingh
  • 4th--Steven Vosdingh
  • 4th--Jeanette Teague
  • 6th--Linda Moretz
  • 7th--Joshua Hefner
  • 12th--Samantha Pitts
  • 12th--Lilly Teague
  • 15th--Paul Burson IV
  • 21st--Amy Fowler
  • 21st--Hunter Tolbert
  • 24th--Jo Nell Harrison
  • 24th--Kathryn Behmer
  • 27th--Anna Boone
  • 27th--Abby Haas


  • 3rd--Thomas and Rosanna Bachman
  • 17th--Leonard and Jeanette Teague
  • 30th--Darren and Sarah McCrary


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Council Minutes

Attendees: Pastor Alan, Irene Austin, Ricky Baker, Becky Silver, Kim Ellis, Barbara Ferguson, Bleaka Hollar, JoAnn Knepp, Judy McCrary, Marsha McRary, Cindy Sears, Ted Daniel, Gerry Daniel, Kenny Silver, Marilyn Kohnle, Peggy Jenkins, Billy Campbell, Kim Knepp, Celeste Creaseman.

After calling the meeting to order, Marsha read from Colossians 3:14-16; 4:5 about letting love guide your life and make the most of every opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. Also live with thankfulness to God.

Reading of the minutes from the September meeting. Motions to accept by Bleaka and Marilyn. Minutes accepted as written.

Financial Report – Irene Austin

The Action-MISC fund has $39,008 after spending some of it for disaffiliation expenses. Irene reported that our contributions are still below what is needed to meet our budget, but we continue to inch along, and are keeping our bills, etc. paid. Since we were told recently to stop paying anymore on our UMC apportionments for this year, $6721 will be added to our disaffiliation costs for the current year’s required amount. Motions made to accept the financial report by Kim Ellis and Judy. Motion passed.

Trustees – Ricky Baker

Ricky reported that the leak from the middle section of the roof was checked, and caulking was applied around the edges. The man who checked it says that this should resolve the problem. The parsonage garage door belt needs to be replaced. The leaking outdoor faucet has not been replaced, yet. We will purchase a new mop bucket because the current one is scratching the gym floor.

Pastor’s Report

Membership Report. Our membership now stands at 166. The following people have been removed from the roll after they transferred to the Online United Methodist Collective of Western North Carolina: Debra Gaylord, Roy Hamby, and Tina Hamby. Pastor Alan is requesting a new address for Victoria Coffey. The last card sent back as undeliverable.

Bible Retirement. Thanks to Billy Long’s brother-in-law we now have two beautiful containers for the Bible Retirement project. The Council voted to bury the bibles in the cemetery area near the back. Bleaka is checking on a cross to use as a marker. The date set for the ceremony and interment is Sunday, November 19th after the worship service. If you have any more Bibles that you wish to retire, they need to be turned in ASAP.

November 5th is All Saints Sunday. We will remember and honor our members and other loves ones who passed away since the last All Saints Sunday. We have the following names for the service at this time: Margie Austin, Jack Davis, and Addie Sears. We need one picture of each person for the slide presentation. If you have any other names of people to honor, please contact Cindy Sears in the office as soon as possible.

The Council has set Sunday December 3rd as the “Hanging of the Greens” day. There will be no children’s time for that service. We will all decorate the Christmon Tree instead. On December 24th and December 31st, we will have our morning worship services at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday school classes will not meet. Our Christmas Eve Service (Dec. 14th) will be at 6:00 p.m. Also, on Sunday December 31st, we will have a Wesleyan Covenant Service as we prepare to now be known as a member of the Global Methodist Church.

Disaffiliation Update – Marsha McRary

We will have a Charge Conference on Monday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. District Superintendent, Rev. Lory Beth Huffman will join us via Zoom. We have a new name: Ebenezer Methodist Church Dudley Shoals, Inc., and a new tax id number. We will use it beginning January 1, 2024. Our church insurance has been expanded to include the WNC Conference as being covered by our indemnity insurance for three years.

We have new by-laws, which do not have to be filed anywhere. They are for our own use and can be modified by Council vote as necessary. Marsha has received a form to file with the GMC to request a minister. We will be able to hire a pastor in January. The logistics will involve housing for the new pastor while we continue to provide housing for Rev. Gaylord until he is assigned a new church. Pastor Alan’s salary after December 31 will come from the WNCC and comes out of what we will pay for the disaffiliation from the UMC and WNCC. We are planning a farewell meal for Pastor Alan and his family. We will provide information on that later.

Old Business

Cindy Sears reported that we are now using Callmultiplier, an online phone service for announcements. Phone calls will show the number 405-548-2251 with location shown as Oklahoma.

New Business

Kim Ellis reported that she has begun removing the cross and flame and the word united from the signs we have in various places. We have signed up to participate in the annual Tree Lighting event in Granite Falls on Monday, November 20th. We will need kitchen help from 12:00 p.m. on. We can use some people to leave early for the event to set up tables and a tent. See Kim. The Lord’s Supper meal will be moved to Tuesday, November 21st and will be a holiday meal with turkey and ham.

Kim is looking for Advent reading volunteers. See her before she drafts you. Kim is also planning another mission trip to Belize January 15-25. She will work out a fundraiser to help her buy supplies as they work on a parsonage there. The women will need some help at the Country Store, especially around 10:00 a.m. as Irene and Kim Ellis will be joining the Zoom meeting of the Disaffiliation Conference for WNC.

Marsha announced that the Nominating Committee will be meeting soon to propose officers and committee members for 2024. The Staff Pastor Parish Relations committee needs a new Chairperson. The Audit Committee will also meet soon. Becky Clark gave the closing prayer. Minutes were recorded by Cindy Sears.

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Worship Information


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Events and Fundraisers

Country Store

November 4, 8AM to 2PM

Fight inflation by visiting our annual Country Store event brought to you by the Ebenezer Methodist Women. Find bargains and holiday gifts. Enjoy good food!

Breakfast biscuits will be on sale in the morning; burgers and hot dogs from 11:00 a.m. to end. Homemade cakes will be on sale, along with gently used items. We have two overflowing rooms of treasure to look through!

Proceeds will help fund the women's ministries in the coming year. We thank you for your support.


Gift baskets, lots of gently used items!


Veterans Day Meal

On Saturday, November 11th, our church and friends will be serving a meal to our local veterans and their spouses in honor of their service to our country. There will be a short presentation in honor of the veterans who have passed on, and in honor of each of the service divisions of the U. S. military. This meal is free, but you must sign up to be invited.

Special Sundays

All Saints Sunday, November 5. During the 9:00 a.m. worship service we will honor our Christian brothers and sisters who have gone on the be with the Lord in the past year.

Bible Retirement Service, November 19. We will have a special ceremony as we bury our old, worn out Bibles in our cemetery. This is also International Bible Week (Nov. 19-25). Help us honor the written Word of God that has meant so much to Christians around the world, and celebrate the good things that its wisdom has brought to our world over the centuries.

As we bury these used Bibles, let us not neglect to continue to keep a Bible in our homes and read it daily for our own edification and the edification of the world through what we learn there and apply to our daily lives.

Festival on the Square

Our church will participating in the annual town of Granite Falls Festival on the Square and Christmas Tree Lighting on Monday, November 20, 6-7:30 p.m. We will be distributing breakfast biscuits for free.

We need lots of help with preparing the biscuits and manning the booth to give them out. Please see Kim Ellis or Ricky Baker for more information. Preparations will begin around 12:00 p.m. that Monday. We need people to leave early and set up a table and tent for us. We will begin serving around 5:30 p.m.

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Monthly Prayer Focus

Israel and Jews around the world who are under attack from Islamists who want to eliminate them.

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Special Giving

We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts in October:

  • In memory of Larry Hill
    by Alice Hill.
  • In memory of Bill Campbell
    by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.
  • In memory of Hayner and Plezzie Spencer
    by Freida S. Matthews.
  • in memory of Bob Jenkins by Peggy Jenkins.
  • In honor of Irene Austin and Cindy Sears and Golf Tournament Fundraiser
    by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.
  • In honor of Rev. Alan Gaylord and Family
    by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.
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Hid In My Heart

Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving. --Colossians 2:6-7 GNT

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Military Prayer List

Please pray for the men and women who protect our freedoms.

  • Ricky Garland
  • Shane McRary
  • Jamie Mullinax
  • Hunter Tolbert
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Other and Miscellaneous

Time Change

Turn your clocks back ONE HOUR on Saturday, November 4 before going to bed. Time changes back to normal on November 5.

John Wesley Said

"Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he comes in the clouds of heaven."

Church Office Closure

The church office will be closed Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Please turn in bulletin information by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 22nd. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Contact Information: 828-396-2214;; 4948 Burns Rd, Granite Falls, NC 28630